So, are we doing this or not? Because I have like an entire season of OITNB to watch…
By Leah Ching, Staff Writer
And Shannon Anderson, Editor in Chief
Yet another social media driven euphemism for sexual activity has developed. This clever catchphrase (with a hidden meaning that couldn’t possibly be more subtle) is the question, “So, Netflix and chill?” The origins and meaning of this term are contested, but there is general consensus that there is something more expected than simply throwing something bingeworthy on and hanging out.
In today’s dating scene, asking someone to Netflix and chill can be equated with the arm-around-the-shoulder move of the 50’s. In some more direct contexts (here’s looking at you, Tinder), the phrase can even be a deliberate request for hooking up, with no regard either for Netflix, or chilling.
This now common parlance has largely been driven by social media, with Buzzfeed videos, vines, Instagram posts, and memes creeping their way into references, sketch comedy, and media. This has resulted in more than just a hint of innuendo; an extremely sexual connotation has attached itself to the phrase and most teenagers and young adults are aware that if they are asked to ‘Netflix and chill,’ they are probably being asked to fool around during a few episodes of Bojack Horseman.
There seems to be a level of transparency between partners that is lacking with the use of euphemisms like this. Third year student Kyle expressed that he had no clue what the term meant, and said, “I would be genuinely surprised if a girl invited me over for Netflix and Chill and then expected sex afterward.”
Speaking candidly on the topic, Lindsey Kelly said “I am getting too old to deal with the subtle nuances of ‘Netflix and Chill.’ There is definitely a level of transparency and informed consent missing when someone asks their partner to “Netflix and Chill,” and really wants to have sex, given that the use of the phrase is entirely based on an understanding of a hidden meaning.”
The realm of “Netflix and Chill” exists in a grey area with many perplexing questions. Such as, just how soon into watching Netflix is it appropriate to initiate sex with one’s partner? The internet suggests somewhere between 20-40 minutes as the usual threshold, with many memes portraying variations of “when you’re 20/30/40 minutes into Netflix and chill” alluding to the time when one party (usually male, an unnecessary heteronormative reflection of our cultural hang-ups regarding female sexual desire) initiates sex. Furthermore, what kind of movie or TV show should one choose? Oddly, 9/11 conspiracy theories seem the most prevalent.
It is mostly indicated through internet media that males typically initiate “Netflix and Chill,” and that has produced varied reactions from the online community. Some appear eager to initiate sex. One meme reads “5 minutes into Netflix ‘n Chill and you tryna figure out how you gonna make this transition”. Another illustrates the frustration that arises when one party genuinely wants to watch Netflix and hang out; “When I say Netflix and chill, I mean Netflix and chill, stop trying to kiss me, watch this 9/11 conspiracy theory documentary or leave.”
Whatever one’s opinion may be, “Netflix and Chill,” like most fad phrases, is probably not here to stay. Much like “come in for a nightcap,” Netflix and Chill will probably soon be replaced an even more baffling internet code for sex.